Citizenship applications climb despite fee hike

It’s great to see so many people applying for citizenship. Despite the rally cries of the anti-immigration groups many are pushing ahead and becoming legal citizens. I welcome them and congratulate them for not being fearful of the many anti-immigrant hate groups. Though this should make most of these groups happy as they all claim to be all for legal immigration.

Citizenship applications climb despite fee hike
Growing anti-immigration sentiment is pushing many people to take action so they can vote, experts say.
By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 4, 2007
The number of citizenship applications received in the Los Angeles area tripled in September compared with the same period last year, despite a major application fee increase that immigration experts feared could drastically set back demand.

Nationwide, citizenship applications also increased in August and September compared with last year, according to new figures from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The applications are on track to surpass the 1-million mark, a milestone reached only twice in the last century — both times in the mid-1990s. That’s when many illegal immigrants who received amnesty in the 1980s became eligible for citizenship, and a political backlash against them motivated many to apply.

This year, similar dynamics are in place, immigration experts said.

“The anti-immigrant sentiment is bordering on the xenophobic, and people are taking notice of that,” said Evan Bacalao of the National Assn. of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund in Los Angeles. “So even though the fees have increased, people still want to make sure their voices are heard.”

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